Written by Suzanne Carter
Lots of promises are being made about a replacement for Obamacare (Affordable Care Act). These include sound bites like “care for all” and “less cost”.
Let’s look at a few realities of this extremely complex issue.
- By insuring people with preexisting conditions and expanding family plan coverage to 26-year-olds, we are increasing costs to the insurance companies. It should not come as a surprise that premiums are going to rise.
- For some, the requirement to purchase insurance or pay a penalty may seem like too much government oversight. What do you think happens when these uninsured individuals get sick? They come to hospital emergency rooms who must provide care. This care is paid for mainly by federal, state and local governments; in other words, you and I. This is like someone driving a car without insurance and taxpayers chipping in to pay their car repairs and medical bills.
- No one can promise you that you can keep your doctor. Physicians and/or the health systems that employ them determine which insurance they will accept.
- There are lesser known aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Will they be included in future legislation? These include:
- Regulations to protect the privacy and security of our health information;
- Incentives for hospitals and physician offices to implement electronic health records;
- The requirement for sharing data from these electronic records between health organizations to facilitate care;
- The creation of patient portals so that we can have access to our vital information such as medication lists, lab results and diagnoses;
- Use of this data to improve the quality of care and to eventually drive how your doctor is compensated.
We are seeing many recent examples where a rush to implement a campaign promise has resulted in unintended and disastrous consequences. Let’s not let this happen to our healthcare system.
I would add that we have written several prior posts that address healthcare:
- the expected increase in costs to you, the patient
- the danger that local hospitals will close, waiting times will increase and availability of care will decrease: https://resistancesuffolk.blog/2017/02/01/health-of-suffolk-hospitals/
- Medicare privatization & the effects of Obamacare repeal on funding for hospitals to train house staff (interns and residents): https://resistancesuffolk.blog/2017/01/03/no-to-medicare-privatization/
- letters from doctors and experts in the NYT https://resistancesuffolk.blog/2017/01/03/no-to-medicare-privatization/
- Regarding Tom Price, letter in the East Hampton Star Dec 12th: http://mobile.easthamptonstar.com/Letters-Editor/2017105/Letters-Editor-010517
- and this one trumps them all: https://resistancesuffolk.blog/2017/01/24/smoking-doesnt-kill-mike-pence/comment-page-1/#comment-67
David Posnett MD
The lesser known aspects cited in Suzanne’s post will eventually drive costs down, but, more importantly, these improvements will allow the use of genomics in future, which stands to revolutionize medical practice by providing so-called personalized medicine for all. Do we want to miss this development?
Thanks for posting this. Yes, we all pay if uninsured people are treated in the emergency room. In NYS state uncompensated care is recognized through the Bad Debt and Charity Care pool.